For a well written gritty read based in the North of England you cannot go far wrong with Robin Roughley, my Author of the month.
I came across these books through a word of mouth recommendation and am 2 books into the series so far. The first the Needle house introduces us to DS Lasser an old fashioned cop, who works in Wigan, as he attempts to solve some quite gruesome murders. The first has a fantastic connection back to the history of the area and looks in depth at the affects of both wealthy and underprivileged dysfunctional families. What I liked about the first novel is the understanding view of some of the disaffected young people, who had real motivations for their choices of behaviour.
The second one, Introduces us to the character of Plymouth who is a recurring character in the Series. Plymouth is a career assassin who works for a particularly nasty drug dealer. However as bad as Plymouth is, he’s also really likeable due to his extreme moral code and he provides for some really memorable moments in the stories. This is a true sign of Robin’s talent as a writer, all the characters have real depth and are truly believable and like all the best writers the characters develop over the series of books, so that returning to one of the books feels like returning to old friends.
This is a new feature for me on the blog but I couldn’t think of a better author to start it with, One of my favourite things in a book is a well written novel with well developed believable characters and Robin’s books really deliver that. If you haven’t discovered him I thoroughly recommend downloading or buying the first one its called Needle house and the Amazon link is below.